Friday, 29 May 2009
When asked why the title, Documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit replied "Because I thought it would look good on a t-shirt". Hustwit's follow up to his typography homage to Helvetica is Objectified. 75 obsessive minutes magnifying the objects we use everyday and the thought processes behind them. A toothbrush is not just a toothbrush. Decisions have been made with a multitude of designer post-it note brainstorms. Interviews include Apple's Jonathan Ive, Marc Newson, Dan Formosa (Smart Design)and Rotterdam based Hella Jongerius who incorporates homemade craft motifs in her designs and Vitra commisions.
As you would expect, the film tracks how design has progressed; the Democratisation via Ikea and how objects do not instantly indicate their function in our technological age e.g an iPod does not immediately suggest a place to store music whilst the ol' spoon does suggest that its practical purpose could be to feed yourself porridge. One designer admitted that Eames had it made in the shade as he didn't have to contemplate the issue of sustainability. He somewhat soberly reflected that most of his products that he designed have indeed ended up in a landfill.
The film is pretty seamless. Like good design. (Unless you want to highlight the seams of course).
At the Barbican's Q & A, Hustwit revealed his documentary filmmaking tip. Just let your interviewee speak. The filmmaker shouldn't probe with questions which create a forced dynamic but should allow for the stream of consciousness that you can chop and arrange in the editing room later.
Following the ultimate Q&A question "Whats in your pocket", Hustwit took us through his day and his yesterday. He had been in Zurich the day before and had met an 83 year old who had taught him a Chladni plate and he had a crumpled laundry ticket from his London hotel.
What's in your pocket this Friday morning?